Fault tolerance in future processing and switching communication satellites is addressed by showing new methods for detecting hardware failures in the first major subsystem, the multichannel demultiplexer. An efficient method for demultiplexing frequency slotted channels uses multirate filter banks which contain fast Fourier transform processing. All numerical processing is performed at a lower rate commensurate with the small bandwidth of each bandbase channel. The integrity of the demultiplexing operations is protected by using real number convolutional codes to compute comparable parity values which detect errors at the data sample level. High rate, systematic convolutional codes produce parity values at a much reduced rate, and protection is achieved by generating parity values in two ways and comparing them. Parity values corresponding to each output channel are generated in parallel by a subsystem, operating even slower and in parallel with the demultiplexer that is virtually identical to the original structure. These parity calculations may be time shared with the same processing resources because they are so similar.